Question: I love what you and your staff have done with TVLine. My wife and I are enjoying Bunheads and would love to know just a little something that happens in the upcoming episodes. —Matt and Kelley
Ausiello: Thanks, Matt! For being such a loyal reader, you get the following scoop: Michelle’s going to audition for a musical in the season finale (which shoots next week), and Bunheads creator Amy Sherman-Palladino is going to make sure we see everything. “I want to take the audience through the entire experience of a cattle call,” she says. “So we’re going to see Michelle go through that entire process.” So what’s the big show she’s up for? “A new musical… that I will make up in about an hour,” she joked. (Translation: The story’s not ready yet.) “But it will be,” she asserts, “and it will be phenomenal! And it will be a lot of dancing!”
Question: Can you give us anything about the Amanda sinking on Revenge? Like, clues about which character gets whacked? —Kay
Ausiello: I can’t give you the edge in your office’s Revenge death pool, Kay, but I can tell you this: The show isn’t going on a break after its huge midseason climax – it’s going to truck on, full speed ahead! “We’ve mapped out closely what we want the end of the season to be,” EP Mike Kelley told TVLine’s Meg Masters. “This year, like last year, we’re asking the audience to trust us to lead them to a pretty explosive conclusion to Season 2 that I think will have a lot of people talking for a very long time.” Bonus Scoop: He also hinted that The Initiative’s huge plan is “all tied together to what Nolan’s able to do on the show.”
Question: Can you please explain to me what The Initiative is on Revenge? For the life of me, I can’t figure it out. —Jamie
Ausiello: Until the release of my forthcoming sure-to-be-bestseller Confusion Times Double Infinity: Ausiello Explains Revenge’s Initiative, I’m going to let star Henry Czerny give you the Cliffs Notes version. “Here’s what The Initiative is: People go through life assuming they can control their environment,” says the man who plays Conrad. “The Initiative is the cloud over them that they have not addressed thoroughly that gets in the way of them being able to appreciate what’s going on without having to control them. It’s not simple. It’s nebulous. You can deal with The Initiative very simply: You can acknowledge it and move on. [But] the Graysons feel that it’s an albatross they need for some reason to pay homage to.” Now that clears things right up, doesn’t it?
Question: January 15 marks the 20th anniversary of Santa Barbara‘s final episode. Is there anything that can make me think the world hasn’t gone to hell in a handbasket since? —Carl
Ausiello: Keri Russell has a new drama series coming out. The number of people who watched Downton Abbey‘s third season premiere is greater than the individual populations of 144 of the world’s nations. My acting resume continues to expand. Rest easy, Carl. The world is fine.
Question: So, with Barney and Robin’s wedding set to be in May 2013, does this mean the Mother will be appear throughout How I Met Your Mother‘s ninth season? BTW, nice Golden Globe pics! —Marie-Christine
Ausiello: Don’t have an answer to that question, but I can tell you that this season’s 17th episode, titled “Weekend at Barney’s,” will find the Legen-dary One headlining a circa-1988 fantasy sequence. (No word if said fantasy sequence features a cameo by Andrew McCarthy.)
Question: I’m a huge fan of Ask Ausiello and have been for years. (Ego stroke!) I was curious if you have any insider information on Episodes? Any idea when it is coming back? —Dan
Ausiello: Flattery gets you everywhere. Episodes will return on Showtime in early 2014, and here’s a little scoop from series co-creator Jeffrey Klarik: Since John Pankow’s Merc was fired last season, there’s a new head of the network. “He’s a piece of work,” Klarik says, before adding, “He is bipolar.”
Question: On The Good Wife, there have been tiny hints that Kalinda might have some romantic feelings for Alicia (Nick being jealous, Lana, too). Can you please find out if they’re going to elaborate on that? —Flor
Ausiello: I think you can safely rule that out… although Archie Panjabi does confess that last week’s “bedroom scene” with Alicia and Kalinda was very satisfying. “It was a really nice moment,” she said of Alicia finally sorta accepting Kalinda’s apology. “[There is a lot] of pain there in the midst of everything that’s happened. But hopefully this is the beginning of getting back to how it was.”
Question: Any scoop on Penny and Pete on Happy Endings? Maybe something about next week’s proposal? —Josh
Ausiello: Casey Wilson tells me that the big moment is going to be a dah-zas-ter. “It’s Penny’s dream come true,” she says, which means, naturally, “It is ruined by Max. We’re doing a prank episode. Everybody starts pranking each other, and they end up getting more heightened and more heightened. And something terrible happens to Max’s limo – R.I.P. Max’s limo. And Penny’s beautiful engagement is a little bit stymied by Max’s prank.” Bottom line? “Basically, Max ruins everything.” Bonus Scoop: Max may soon have his own piece of perfection in Wilson, a very handsome Brazilian who happens to be the son of David’s biggest food-truck nemesis.
Question: Need Scandal scoop, please. Obsessed. —Ricky
Ausiello: How about a little intel on the couples Shonda Rhimes loves playing with most? “I really enjoy writing Olivia and Fitz and Mellie and Fitz,” she shares. “I think that Mellie and Fitz is the most interesting marriage I’ve ever gotten to write. Cyrus and James are the healthy marriage on the show. And Nellie and Fitz are this very twisted, dark dynamic of what happens when a marriage has gone bad — and yet they still love each other, and yet I feel sorry for her a lot. I have a lot of compassion for Mellie, even when she’s doing terrible things.”
***Major spoiler alert about Downton Abbey‘s Season 3 finale ahead, so if you don’t wanna know, don’t read on.***
Question: Not sure I want to watch Downton Abbey without Dan Stevens’ Matthew. Care to try and change my mind? —Jodi
Ausiello: I’ll leave that task to EP Gareth Neame, who has found the silver lining in the much-grieved exit. (Hint: It focuses on Lady Mary.) “When you see something that feels like a difficult thing for a show — like an exit of a key character — it’s actually a dramatic opportunity,” says Neame, adding that he knew about Stevens’ departure a year before it happened, so he was able to “flip the story in a whole different direction.” He adds, “In any relationship drama, the will-they-or-won’t-they is always more interesting than married couples. So actually what we’ve been able to do is reset [Lady Mary]. She has to start again, and that will be much more interesting.”
That’s a wrap! Please send questions, comments, and anonymous tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Additional reporting by Kim Roots, Vlada Gelman and Megan Masters)Follow @MichaelAusiello